Get ready to pay for Hulu and Youtube

And so it begins. Youtube is going to start charging to watch some independent films on its service, and Hulu looks like it might be following suit.

USA Today reported that YouTube will charge around $5 for access to five Sundance Film Festival films from 2009 and 2010. This is being done as a test, to see if users are indeed willing to pay for content on YouTube.

Hulu might be following suit, as a recent LA Times story claims that Hulu is considering a $5 subscription fee to watch older episodes of shows. Unlike YouTube, Hulu hasn't actually confirmed anything yet, but this could be a major change in the previously free service.

It might just be a few test balloons floating out to see what can make money, or this could be the start of a slow but major change in two of the Internet's biggest video providers.

Will Greenwald

[Source: ReadWriteWeb and Engadget]